The Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, to seven years imprisonment.
The Court also fined Metuh N375 million to be paid to the Federal Government.
Metuh was prosecuted by the EFCC, alongside his company, Destra Investment, on a seven-count charge of diversion of the money received when Sambo Dasuki who was the National Security Adviser.
Justice Abang on count one, two, four and seven, ordered that he be sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
On count three he was sentenced to five years, on count five, three years imprisonment with a fine of N25m (twenty five million) to the Federal Government.
On count six he was sentenced to three years imprisonment while the second defendant, Destra Investment Company was to forfeit N25m (twenty five million naira) to the federal government.
Justice Abang ordered that the sentencing was to run concurrently with effect from today.
He further ordered that Metuh’s company (2nd defendant) be closed and the amounts standing trial in its financial institution forfeited to the FG.
He said that an enrolment of judgment order would be served on EFCC.
Justice Abang held that the facts of the case had revealed a story of shame and has reflected the moral decay of the times and age we live in this country.
“Misappropriation of public funds by those who have communication with public officers and public officers themself has eaten deep into the fabric of the country which requires quick diagnosis to get an adequate and urgent treatment.
“Drastic situation demands drastic solution so the court is to enforce the law for social engineering and our desire for national re-birth.
“Notwithstanding persuasive allocutus by defendant counsel, the first defendant had the opportunity to have resolved it amicably with the complaints when he was confronted with Exhibit D1, account statement of 2nd defendant.
“He is the sole signatory to the account which transferred 50 million to an account owned by his wife but controlled by him.
“Because the issue involved his family, he should have found a way of resolving it with EFCC, instead he became hardened, joined issue with the team of investigators and destroyed confessional statements he made.
According to him, the defendant Sponsored blackmail against the court which was inhuman and heartless.
“The day he fell in court it was reported on CNN portraying the court in bad light and only God sustained me in this matter.
“It was only towards the end of the case that the convict and his counsel became light to the court. I prayed the file be withdrawn from me but I didn’t see it coming. I did not assign this case to this court, he said.
Earlier, the Judge said that he had his doubts on if the Metuh was telling the court the truth based on the evidence placed before the court.
“Evidence of Dasuki would have been crucial to collaborate the claims of the 1st defendant that the sum was for national assignment.
“When Dasuki testified in court, he answered several questions, in the middle he refused and said he had lost memory and needed adjournment to refresh his memory.
“The defence did not confront Dasuki if the sum was truly paid through the former president that released the money in issue.
“There is no documentary evidence from the 1st defendant before the court and I have doubts if the former president authorized public funds to someone who was not a public servant but a political party member,” he said.
The Judge however frowned at the fact that Metuh tore the 3rd page of the confessional statement he wrote that the sum was used for PDP campaign and to settle personal bills.
He also said that it was unlawful for Metuh to get involved in cash transaction of over two million dollars which was changed to naira currency and paid to his account.
NAN reports that Metuh was arraigned by the Federal Government in 2016 over allegations of unlawfully receiving N400m from the office of the then National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).